split image of Val Kolpakov

Val Kolpakov, a dentist from Georgia, USA, owns the world’s largest collection of toothpaste tubes.

His collection consists of 2,037 different tubes from all over the world, including items from Japan, Korea, China, India and Russia.

“I started my collection in 2001 to learn more as a dentist about all available toothpastes on the market,” Val explained.

“Soon I realized that this is a very interesting hobby and tried to collect some old toothpastes and tubes from other countries.”

He estimates the value of his collection to be over $30,000 (£24,265). Part of it is on display at his dental office, which he has turned into a “mini museum” with tubes adorning most shelves, cabinets and walls, whilst the rest of the collection is stored in his home.

Val’s favourite toothpaste tubes are a set of three whisky-flavoured ones (rye, scotch, and bourbon), manufactured by Don Poynter in the 1950s. The novelty toothpaste contains 3% alcohol.

He is also fond of the rocket-shaped Orbit Dental Cream from the 1960s, which came with instructions to mail 25 cents for rocket fuel to launch the empty container in the air.

Another of his peculiar pastes is a wasabi-flavoured one, which Val admits he hasn’t dared to try. “As you can imagine, it might not be for weak people,” he joked.

Among his more historic items are several German toothpaste tubes dug out of World War II trenches. Holding up a tube of Doramad toothpaste, Val said: “I consider this one of the most unusual ones because [it] is radioactive. It did have a radioactive compound, Thorium, because back then, people believed that radioactive compounds revive your tissues, and it’s good for your skin and teeth.”

Vals toothpaste tubes

Val says his rarest item is a tube of Brenner’s toothpaste. “There is no such brand,” he explained. “It was made specifically for the series Prison Break – it was used with phosphoric acid inside the tube to corrode the pipes, and that would help them to escape [prison].”

Some of Val’s tubes comes from companies which you wouldn’t normally associate with toothpaste. For example, he has crayon-shaped tubes created by Crayola, and tubes created by tuna company StarKist.

Although Val owns almost every kind of toothpaste imaginable, there is one which he regrets not purchasing. “It’s the toothpaste which has been in space,” he revealed. “I’m not quite sure which astronaut had it, but it was there; it was designed in a specific way so that you could squeeze it out in space.”

Val smiling

In addition to his tremendous toothpaste collection, Val also owns a variety of tooth powders. Tooth powder preceded toothpaste by many centuries - its main ingredients were baking soda and herbs such as cloves, mint, or cinnamon. 

“I have about 400 tooth powders,” Val revealed.

Although Val says he doesn’t buy as many toothpaste tubes as he used to, he still enjoys adding new ones to his collection.

“It’s lots of fun collecting, and I’m always looking for new toothpastes that come out. There are different trends, like right now there are lots of toothpastes they’re making with charcoal.

“Yes, clearly I will keep going.”

Val in pile of toothpaste tubes

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